Irish walkers look for strong showing in Poděbrady
A strong team of six Irish athletes travel to Poděbrady, Czech Republic this weekend for the European Race Walking Team Championships on Sunday (May 21st).
Four senior men have been selected for the 20km race with a mixture of experience and exciting up and coming talent set to don the green singlet.
David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley A.C.) is amongst those selected. Kenny currently sits second on the Irish All-Time list for the event behind his coach Rob Heffernan. The Tokyo 2020 Olympian produced his lifetime best in the Czech city last April clocking 1:19:44 on that occasion and already in 2023 has broken the Irish indoor 5000m Walk record. He will hope that his good form will continue this weekend.
Three-time Olympian Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley A.C.) has extensive international experience and will hoping to use that to his advantage on Sunday. The Donegal man competed over the distance in Slovakia back in March and finished just outside his personal best as he crossed the line in 1:24:46. Boyce previously finished sixth in the 50km Walk at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Joining Kenny and Boyce in the 20km race are young Mullingar Harriers duo Oisín Lane and Matthew Glennon. Both will be making their senior international debuts but have represented Ireland in the past. In 2021 Lane finished sixth in the 10km Walk at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn, while Glennon was 22nd.
Most recently the pair went head-to-head at the Irish Universities Outdoor Track and Field Championships with Lane taking gold and Glennon silver in the 3000m Walk.
Ireland will also be represented in the U20 Men’s 10km race which sees two athletes scoring. Jake O’Brien (Moy Valley A.C.) and Andrew Glennon (Mullingar Harriers A.C.) will be looking to make an impression from an individual and team perspective.
Earlier this year the young athletes were a class apart as they took gold and silver respectively over 3000m at the 123.ie National Junior Indoor Championships. Glennon also finished 14th at the European U18 Championships in Israel last year.
The Senior Men’s 20km Walk gets underway at 1:10pm while the U20 Men’s 10km Walk starts at 3:20pm. The action will be live streamed on the European Athletics YouTube channel.